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Mass grave found in northern Afghanistan, official says

Other News Materials 20 October 2011 13:50
A mass grave has been uncovered in northern Afghanistan, an official said Thursday.
Mass grave found in northern Afghanistan, official says

A mass grave has been uncovered in northern Afghanistan, an official said Thursday.

"A mass grave was found in Rastaq district of Takhar province," said Faiz Mohammad Tawhidi, spokesman for the provincial governor, DPA reported.

"We have uncovered 20 bodies so far, but the number will go up," Tawhidi said.

Afghan security forces secured the area and an investigation was under way, he said, adding a forensic team was on its way.

Officials at the site said the bodies were stacked on one another in the grave that was 8 metres by 2 metres but they said they "did not know how deep it goes."

"We don't know how old the grave is. Nor do we know who killed these people," Tawhidi said, adding it could have been decades old.

Another official with the investigation said the area saw fierce battles between local warlords for power in the 1990s, after the Soviet Union's forces withdrew from Afghanistan. "It could have been from that era," the official said, asking not to be named.

"Lately, we do not know of any such incident."

Residents of the district accused a local mujahideen commander who fought the Soviets and is now a politician of killing tens of people during the 1990s.

The United Nations has said it has recorded at least 84 mass graves across Afghanistan from more than 30 years of conflict.

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